By Tania Moffat
For most of us, taking time out of our hectic days for ourselves seems like the superfluous inanity of dreams. Deadlines, ringing phones, endless meetings, thousands of countless chores and errands – not to mention the demands of family and our homes – can push us to our breaking points.
Amidst all this insanity, we need to remember to take care of ourselves every once in a while: to treat our minds and bodies to a much-deserved break, disconnect with the world, and reconnect with ourselves.
Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a relaxation experience you won’t soon forget. The aroma of a wood-burning fire welcomes you as you exit your car and enter the stunning rock and cedar spa reminiscent of a Scandinavian mountainous retreat.
Relaxing music and aromatherapy scents mixed with cedar abound indoors, and as you exit the change room, you are greeted by baths filled with glistening, sky-blue water. Steam dances and swirls as it rises from the pools.
The courtyard, landscaped with alpine accents and cobbled paths between the baths and cedar buildings that house the various methods of relaxation, is edged with snow. Huge flakes begin to fall from the sky as you stroll outdoors in your robe.
Thermëa spa officially opened on January 15th of this year. The thermotherapy spa offers several options for guests to enjoy the three-step thermal cycle.
You begin by immersing yourself in heat to cleanse your body of toxins. Enter option one, the Finlandia sauna; it is heated to approximately 80 degrees. There is something about saunas; the rich woody smell, the feel of the heat as you breathe that first breath deep into your lungs, and the enveloping warmth is so welcoming.
Knowing the second step of the thermal cycle is to transition your body into a cold environment, you leave your warm cocoon with trepidation and make your way to the Tempër pool (heated between 20 and 23 C). The outside temperature sits at -10 C and it seems almost ridiculous to be going into a cold pool outdoors – but, when in Rome.
The initial reaction is “I must be crazy,” but after you immerse yourself in the water, you begin to feel alive. You feel your body waking up as your adrenaline surges. It feels great and surreal to be relaxing in a pool with snowflakes falling all around as you gaze at a magnificent sculpture of ice formed from water splashing the sides of a flowing waterfall.
Leaving the pool, you grab your robe and enter Relaxa, where an assortment of Tazo teas or cold orange- and sage-infused water await. Choose between a quiet room with mattresses and pillows or a two-tier heated tile seating area overlooking the hot pool and a roaring fire.
In this third stage of the thermal cycle, your body will experience a deep sense of relaxation created by the endorphins that are released following the adrenaline rush.
Since it is recommended you repeat the cycle three times, after your rest, you can try out Vaporo where two steam rooms await. Each is infused with its own aromatherapy oil, either the tantalizing scent of orange peel or the invigorating eucalyptus. Exfoliä, located in the same building, offers you a choice of sea salts for an exfoliating rub and shower.
Before you go, you must try Polarbër, the cold plunge bath which is “heated” to a brisk 8 to 12 C, and Gëser, the hot tub, heated to a balmy 39 C.
Who would ever believe that they would walk through walkways surrounded by snow in flip-flops and a robe, dipping in the outdoor baths of a picturesque spa in the middle of a Winnipeg winter or spring? Believe it – and after a relaxing afternoon, the only thing you’ll be trying to juggle is when to fit in your next visit.